Since 2020, the Zinn Education Project has hosted hundreds of Teaching for Black Lives Study Groups. Each study group receives copies of Teaching for Black Lives and a Rethinking Schools subscription for each participant, a year-long menu of workshops and seminars to choose from, and access to a network of social justice teachers across the United States.
In 2021, participants in the Teaching for Black Lives campaign — study groups, online classes, and/or Teach Truth Day of Action — were interviewed to reflect on their experience.
Karen Lee, a social studies teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C. who is beyond their 18th year of teaching. She said,
It is traditionally described by all kinds of statistics that are reflected in communities that are under-resourced. But I like to describe our community as vibrant, as resilient. And our student body embodies all of that, and the way that they tackle academics and recognize that they get to change the trajectory of their life by pouring themselves into their education. So we are a college prep high school, but we really support the approach that college should be a choice and you should be ready for the choice, and through education at our school you will have that choice. If you want to take it, or if you want to take a career path, we support that too.
Oftentimes people describe our community by stating all of the things that folks in our community struggle with. But I would describe our community, and specifically my students, as resilient, and as hardworking, and as determined to meet the goals that they’re setting for themselves.
Listen to an excerpt of her interview below.